Election Timing Free of McGrail Cloud

Mr Picardo is running scared from the McGrail Inquiry and the calling of an election for a period that does not coincide with any hearings of the McGrail Inquiry is no accident. Mr Picardo’s statement that the McGrail Inquiry “cannot come soon enough” for him is stunning given that his own lawyers made clear to the Inquiry chairman that Mr Picardo had asked them to raise a concern about the “appropriateness” of the Inquiry going ahead during a general election. That was widely reported in the press when this was said in July this year. The implication is clear namely that Mr Picardo did not want the McGrail Inquiry to be the backdrop to his re-election campaign.

The link to the hearing of 19 July 2023 is here: https://www.gbc.gi/news/mcgrail-inquiry-timetable-could-be- impacted-general-election-raised-fourth-preliminary-h

Subsequently given the ongoing criminal investigation into allegations that witnesses against Mr McGrail received inducements the Chairman has, in his own judgment, postponed the hearing. This has left the calendar free of any McGrail inquiry hearing till at least the end of October

GSD Leader, Keith Azopardi said: “Mr Picardo has chosen a date for the general election that is free of any McGrail Inquiry hearing. That is a fact. Presumably that is what he would have wanted when he expressed concern about the “appropriateness” of an election coinciding with the McGrail Inquiry. That is not an attempt to muddy the waters. It is also a fact that he goes into the election with clouds of allegations of improper conduct hanging over him. That is unprecedented for a Chief Minister.

He can say what he likes but we are asked to believe that the timing of the election has nothing to do with the McGrail Inquiry having no hearings till at least the end of October. The GSD does not believe the timing is coincidental given the previous indications from Mr Picardo’s lawyers. He clearly didn’t want an election to coincide with any hearing in the McGrail Inquiry because he is running scared from the political damage caused by that Inquiry. That is also part of the election backdrop whether he likes it or not.”